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News - Details

The New York Soccer Referee Association Celebrates 80th Birthday at its Holiday Party

By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association

December 24, 2018-New York City is a wonderful melting pot as is the sport of soccer so many of the most diverse sports events in the USA are New York City soccer games. Managing games between rival ethnic groups is not for the faint of heart and it’s been the role of the New York Soccer Referee Association (NYSRA) since its inception 80 years ago back in 1938. 


From left to right: Referee of the Year Mike Reydler with NYSRA President Vito Rizzi. Gold Whistle recipient Mario Orlando with NYSRA Treasurer Francesco Rizzi. NYSRA Secretary Kambiz Riazi with Silver Whistle winner Nikolay Popov.

NYSRA honored seven of its top refs at its Holiday Party on December 20 at the VFW Hall in Franklin Square. Brooklyn was front and center as the Referee of the Year, Gold Whistle and Silver Whistle award winners all live in New York City’s most populated borough.

Mike Reydler was named the Referee of the Year. NYSRA President Vito Rizzi explained, “Mike is always on time, is a positive person and accepts games anywhere.”

The Gold Whistle award, for the experienced ref still serving the association in many ways including on the field, went to Mario Orlando. The Silver Whistle for a top young, upcoming ref was given to a very surprised Nikolay Popov.

Service awards were handed out to Sal Abbate and Raul Maturana (both 15 years), Cono Mazzo (25 years) and Carlos Linares (30 years).

A wonderful buffet dinner was enjoyed by the nearly 100 referees in attendance. The NYSRA would like to thank its friends at the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL), New York City originals since 1933, for paying for the dinner. 

With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.